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Bilingual Education in Migrant Languages in Western Europe

Book Contribution - Chapter

This review focuses on bilingual education (BE) in migrant languages in Western Europe. In the Early Developments section, we will argue that educational arrangements targeting migrant languages initially arose from bottom-up initiatives for immigrant children. In the Major Contributions section, we will discuss the pioneering role of both the local and supranational levels in developing migrant language programs and policies in mainstream schooling and promoting multilingualism as civic ideology. Although these initiatives focused on mother tongue instruction (MTI), BE came forward as an alternative approach, reaching a peak in the late 1970s/early 1980s and resulting in a limited number of local experiments in transitional BE. However, national states in Western Europe have been reluctant to include migrant languages in their language-in-education policies. BE in migrant languages has nowhere been able to establish itself as a fully valued teaching model. Notwithstanding this, two-way immersion models offering migrant languages are currently successful in Germany U+2013 as is pointed out in the Work in Progress section. Although practical problems can partially explain the difficult introduction of bilingual approaches in education for immigrants, the principal obstacle is the monolingual ideology that underlies educational and social integration policies and practices across Europe. A return to assimilation has resulted in dwindling official support of MTI/BE in many Western European countries in the past decade (Problems and Difficulties). In the final section, we will outline some Future Directions, of which the challenge of linguistic superdiversity of school populations for received language-in-education approaches is most important.
Book: Bilingual and Multilingual Education
Edition: 3
Series: Encyclopedia of Language and Education
Pages: 489 - 503
Publication year:2017